For our first assignment, we were to go into our backyard, and take macro, or up close shots, of objects and other things that we found. I have this little plant pot on my back porch, with a little ceramic butterfly that sticks out of the dirt. I really like this shot, because you're able to tell exactly what the subject is, and the vegetation really helps draw your eyes to it. If I took this again, I would maybe zoom or crop in closer to the butterfly.
For this shoot, we were assigned to take self portraits! I ventured out into my backyard to a tree that was near the road, and set up a tripod to take some pictures of myself. I'm more disappointed with this assignment than the previous ones, and if I were to retake them, I'd go to a different location, and lower the ISO and adjust the settings, as the pictures are all too grainy. Sadly, the tree was cut down, so I couldn't even retake the picture exactly, even if I wanted to.
I went on a quick visit to downtown Ann Arbor for this shoot, and it was very humid and rainy that day, just like a rainforest. Cities are often called concrete jungles, and I found that to be a good topic for this picture. The greenery, sky color, humidity and rain all helped the "jungle" part, and the cars, sidewalks and buildings all formed the "concrete" aspect. If I could retake this picture, I'd probably try to pick a subject, to stand out against the landscape of the city.
Another trip to A2 for this snapshot. Fortunately, it was less humid, sunny and overall nicer outside than it was for my last shoot. I was standing on the sidewalk and I could see a girl on a bike riding closer to me, so I pulled out my camera and managed to capture the back of her, as well as the shops on the other side of the road. If I could redo this shot, I would maybe try to center her in the photo, and get a side shot of her, but maybe instead of a stranger, I could ask a friend or family member to be my bicycle model.
I traveled to a nearby park in my hometown for these shots. We needed 4 pictures, symmetrical, repetition, compositional point and perspective. The two images below are compositional point and perspective. The trees has little, bright red berries all over them and I had to look for a spot that only had one berry, and luckily I found one. I really like how the background is out of focus, and your eyes go directly to the berry. It's also good, because green and red are on opposite sides of the color wheel. For the bridge, I had to lay down on the ground to capture the shot. I did my best to darken the bright sunlight that is reflecting off the water, but it didn't really work out that much.
The school yearbook needed our help for a little while, and so my class went out to take some pictures for them, and I was in charge of the Junior Varsity and Freshman Boys Basketball teams. It was kind of difficult to take the pictures, because the boys were constantly moving, and the light was horrible inside the gyms, where the games and practices were held. I'd retake these pictures again, once I become more familiar with lighting and ISO, and all the other camera settings needed for sports photography.
Rule of Thirds
Pretty simple assignment, based off the title. We had to take some shots of objects, or people, or whatever, that fit in the rule of thirds for photography. I found some objects around my house, and aligned them with my tripod, and edited them to make sure they fit well. I would definitely go out to another location to take a new set of photos if I had to, rather than use some objects that were just in my house. (P.S. the cupcakes were pumpkin spice latte flavored!)
Black & White
My class was given the chance to have a month long showcase at a local cafe, and our theme was black and white. I am not really pleased with my photo, because it's very plain, there's no subject, and I could've done a lot better, than just writing "LOVE" with a flashlight in a dark basement.
I had to bribe my younger brother in order for him to help me out with this project. I really like the crispness of the picture, but I wish I had a clean, empty wall with good lighting, where I could've had him stand to one side of the picture, rather than be centered. I had to tell him a lame joke in order to make him smile naturally, but hey, it worked.
The rule for this assignment was pretty simple, just to have the shutter on your camera open long enough to capture a "bulb" or "light painting" effect. I have a small moon light, that was featured in the Rule of Thirds assignment, and it has 16 colors. So, I went outside, buried in a pile of snow, and selected a blue color with my remote, and held the shutter open for 5 seconds. I also flipped the image, because it looks like clouds when it's flipped, and it looks really cool.
This is our final digital project, and we had to tell a story, through either a series of photos or one singular, strong picture. I decided I wanted to take pictures of "Lost Things." I threw some common things around my house that usually are lost, like keys, jewelry, shoes or money. I turned down the saturation and vibrance, to make the pictures look older and worn, like the objects have "lost hope" on ever being found again. If I had more time and available resources (like... a car), I would definitely go out into Ann Arbor or another busy area and find REAL lost objects, because then it would look more authentic and there would be a lot more realistic.
For this assignment, we were to take pictures that told a story. I'm not pleased with this shoot at all, but unfortunately I was very busy after school and was unable to find another time, and resources, to shoot again. These pictures were taken at my grandma's house. Long story short, I've been unable to see her house before in my 17 years of life, so this was the first time I was there, ever, and we (my dad, brother and I), were helping her move some of her heavy or unwanted things before she moves into a different place later this month. So, while they not be the most quality of pictures by a long shot, the story is nice, in my own opinion. It's supposed to be "Helping Grandma" or something along those lines, but I definitely feel like I could've conveyed the story better, with improved photos. I wasn't, however, planning on them being aesthetically pleasing or interesting to look at. I wanted them to look messy or unorganized, because that's actually what it was like being there.
I think these capture emotional aspects because you can tell that some of the things in these images belonged to an older woman, or an old couple, just by the objects around the house, like the old rocking horse, and the wooden furniture behind it, and the metal objects laying around.
These pictures were NOT arranged in a pleasing manner, because I didn't want them to be pleasing or fun, I wanted them to be messy. There's no point in glamorizing a messy garage just to mess it up again when I'm done. The point was to capture the "pure" aspect of a home that belongs to someone who hasn't cleaned in awhile, or you can tell that they're going to be moving and cleaning up soon.
I think I did a good job purposely capturing messy photos that still look crisp and are exposed correctly. They probably could've been framed better, or shot in a more dramatic style to be a little more interesting, but it was a little cold outside and I wanted to go back inside ASAP. The cropping also could've been improved, most likely, but I didn't want it to be too tight, or have too much going on in the background.
HDR: High Dynamic Range
For this assignment, we were to go into our camera settings and set it up so that our cameras would take 3 pictures; One at the correct exposure, one at 2 notches under exposed, and 2 notches over exposed. Then, in Lightroom, you combine them together to create one complete image, that has all the lights and darks combined. I took a picture of when it was twilight outside. Nothing drastic or dramatic, as it's just the view from my house, but I really like the colors that I was able to capture in the picture. The blues are very appealing, with the dashes of pinks and yellows thrown in, it makes the picture feel calming, in my own opinion.
This assignment features color, as implied by the title. We could take pictures of any subject, there just had to be a gradient of color present. I have a small succulent (it's not real) that I set up on top of my bookshelf, in my dark bedroom. I grabbed a plain, white flashlight, and I also have the moon light with 16 different colors, and I put them on each side of the succulent. The color fades into the white flashlight, creating the gradient for the assignment. I really like how the succulent is dark compared to the background, almost like a silhouette, while the glass around it almost seems like a bubble, which is an unnecessary but interesting detail.
The title gives this assignment away. We had to take pictures of food in a way that would make it look delicious or appealing. We also had to use one source of light other than natural light for this shoot. I took some fruit that we had laying around in the kitchen, and positioned them to kind of have a hierarchy type of look. I used a coffee mug and a small bowl and turned them upside down and set some fruit on them. Through a process of trial and error, I ended up with the fruit arranged like this for the final picture. I also photoshopped an electrical outlet out of the picture because it was distracting.
This assignment involved take pictures that were "under exposed," or really, just make sure that the highlights were exposed correctly. If they were over exposed, they'd be 100% white and would count as "nothing" in Photoshop. We also had to go on a photo walk for these pictures, so we'd have many different shots in different areas. I was at the Special Olympics event that my school hosts every year, and it was a beautiful day outside, so I figured I'd snap some photos while I was out there.
For this shoot, we had to go out and take pictures of a reflection, whether it be a mirror or a puddle, or even like someone "reflecting" on something. I decided to go to a local park and look to take pictures of the river there. Unfortunately it was a bit windy and the water wasn't still enough for a good shot. I did, however, manage to find a puddle, which looked really nice. I like all of the shadows around the puddle, and how the whole picture is really crisp and nice looking, with the highlights just around the puddle.
The goal of this photo shoot was to travel to an ugly location, and take some pictures (we did a portrait shoot particularly). We decided to go to a Lowe's for our shoot. We ventured into the garden section, and then into the paint, and the lights, and basically all over the warehouse. I took some headshots of my classmate, Lily, who was a wonderful model for us all. I really enjoyed this, it was a really simple, yet creative idea, and I'd do it again.
Macro (Breadth 1)
It's the start of senior year, and now I get to pick my own projects for the first part of the school year. My fellow 2nd year students and I are given the chance to do our own photoshoots, without our teacher giving us ideas. For my first one, I decided to pick something simple and choose macro photography. In a group of 4, we went to a little naturey park area that I had no idea existed. There were plenty of paths with beautiful vegetation, and even a fish pond! I got up close and personal with nature, and snapped some shots.
Moving Water (Breadth 2)
My second study as a second year involved me standing in a cold, rocky stream for an interesting shot. I wanted to get a picture of moving water captured in time, frozen still, OR have the shutter open long and capture a cool "flowy" feel, but instead I went with the first idea. The colors were really dull and uninteresting before editing, so I decided to make the whole image look BETTER. I uploaded both the edited and the unedited versions, respectively. I think it looks like a default desktop kind of picture, after editing, if I'm being honest.
"Toys" (Breadth 3)
For this next breadth project, I went to Walmart and bought the cheapest LEGO set I could find. Luckily for me, it was a character I liked, but that's not necessary. This assignment, I wanted to take photos of a toy, kind of doing its own thing, outside. So, I took this little LEGO girl, and posed her, to the best of my ability, outside in my front yard, and snapped some shots of her posing, getting stuck, having fun and adventuring out and about in the depths of my front yard. She came with 2 facial expressions to use, so I had fun playing around with poses and ideas, using both her happy and angry faces. I believe that the first picture is my favorite, where she's taking a walk along a nature trail (otherwise known as some dirt by a bush). But I also managed to get her to stand up and hold onto the stem of some leaves, upon a metal fence-like thing. I was also feeling a little evil and decided to trap her under my car's back windshield wiper, upside down, which she doesn't appear too happy for, and finally, I set her in the grass and put a dead leaf over her to create a little canopy. It would've looked cooler if I managed to make it look like it was raining, but mu expertise isn't that great, just yet.
Glass Sphere (Breadth 4)
For the 4th breadth shoot, I bought a glass sphere off of Amazon. I've always though photography with the glass balls was so interesting, and I really wanted to try it out for myself! I wasn't sure where to go for this shoot, location wise, and ended up in a park in my town, which ended up not being too bad of a spot. I forgot my tripod, so I did have to improvise at some points, holding my camera as still as possible with a smaller shutter speed without the image appearing too dark. I think the pictures turned out great, and I'd like to do more shoots with the sphere again, but maybe at a more interesting location, vs a park with nothing too memorable in it.
Framing (Breadth 5)
This week's study was at Wiard's Orchard in Ypsilanti. It was slightly raining and kinda dull outside, but I got to buy some doughnuts and an apple cider slushie while I was there. We went in a group with all of the 2nd year students, and we all had different ideas, and mine was framing. There wasn't a whole lot to take for framing, but I got a really cool shot with a fence and a pumpkin field.
Reflections (Breadth 6)
For this shoot, I wanted to do something with reflections, and leaves, as it's now autumn, and the leaves are pretty colors, and falling off the trees. So, I looked to Pinterest for inspiration, and found an image where the photographer placed a mirror on the ground, with some leaves also on the ground, but the tree was reflecting in the mirror, and it looked super interesting. So, I decided I wanted to something just like that for my shoot. At 200 ISO, a shutter speed of 1/250 and an aperture of f 5.6, I captured this image. It was a little windy outside, so I had to keep some of the leaves under the actual mirror, to keep them in place. I like how the tree's reflection has green leaves, and the ones on the ground are orange, yellow and red. It gives the photo some contrast, I believe.
Concentration 1: Superstitions
As a 2nd year photography student, I had an assignment called a Concentration shoot, where I got to pick an area I wanted to focus on, and shoot pictures based off of that. I picked portraits/people as the focus area, and Superstitions as the theme of the actual concentration. I thought superstitions as my theme would be really interesting, because there are a whole lot of superstitions to pick from. But, I decided to pick the following: Breaking a mirror brings bad luck, opening an umbrella inside brings bad luck, throw salt over your shoulder if you spill it, and the whole "black cats are unlucky." I asked my sister to be my human model for the pictures, and I tried my best to pose her (as I'm not the best with shots of people, which is why I picked that as the focus area). I decided to make each picture desaturated and less vibrant, because all of these pictures have something to do with bad luck, and bad luck isn't really a brightly colored thing, at least in my opinion.
Concentration 2: Unique Location > Portraits
For our 2nd concentration shoot, I once again wanted to focus on taking portraits of people, as I still don't feel entirely comfortable with taking them. This time I decided to take pictures of my friends, and I wanted to take pictures of them in places that you wouldn't typically expect portraits to be taken. In this case, the locations were a Walmart, a thrift store and a cemetery. These locations were picked as an easy access/why not spot. If I had access to more random places, I would've most likely gone to those instead of ones just in the general area. I definitely still feel like I need to work on posing people for future projects, but I'm proud of the pictures I took for this concentration. I decided to add 2 pictures from the cemetery shoot, because in the first one, you can't really tell that the setting is in a cemetery. The first picture is exposed at 1/60 shutter, 800 ISO and the aperture is 5.6. The second picture is exposed at 1/100 shutter, 400 ISO and 4.5 aperture. The 3rd picture is 1/1,000 shutter, 200 ISO and 4.5 aperture. Lastly, the final picture is exposed at 1/200 shutter, 200 ISO and 4.5 aperture.